Goalie Tips from the Best: Billy Daye
Former North Carolina, All-ACC Goaltender and USCLA Player of the Year
from a recent interview by Great Atlantic Lacrosse
Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your hands should be way from your body to prevent being handcuffed on offside shots. Your hands should be 12-18" apart. Most importantly, you need to find a comfort zone where you are ready to attack the ball and make the save. Practice your outlets just as much as you practice making saves. There is nothing worse than making a great save and then giving the ball back to the other team because of a bad pass.
Talk to your defense and let them know where the ball is on the field. As the quarterback of the defense, you must recognize situations such as fast breaks and direct your defensemen to the correct positions. The tone of your voice says a lot; if you are not a vocal person, you better start being one. Stay positive even after a goal is scored. A goalie who has control of his defense will have the respect of the team.
If you give up a goal do not get down on yourself or your defense. You can't take the goal off the scoreboard but you can recognize what you did wrong, practice that step or specific movement, AND GET THE NEXT ONE. Have confidence in your abilities to stop the ball. If you lose your confidence, your defense will soon follow. Always believe you can save every shot.
Your warm-up should be a warm-up, not target practice for the best shooters on your team. Find someone you trust to give you a proper warm-up. Tell the shooter what you want. I recommend:
8-10 shots stickside high
8-10 shots off-stick high
8-10 shots stickside hip
8-10 shots offstick hip
8-10 stickside bounce
8-10 off-stickside bounce
10-15 shots "mix it up"
Watch and listen to the great goaltenders and notice their different styles. Take what works best for them and adapt it to your specific style of play. Good luck this season!